✍️✍️✍️ Why Is Othello A Villain

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Why Is Othello A Villain



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Should we feel bad for Othello? - Character Analysis - Shakespeare

Roderigo, having been manipulated by Iago, attacks Cassio in the street after Cassio leaves Bianca's lodgings. Cassio wounds Roderigo. During the scuffle, Iago comes from behind Cassio and badly cuts his leg. In the darkness, Iago manages to hide his identity, and when Lodovico and Gratiano hear Cassio's cries for help, Iago joins them. When Cassio identifies Roderigo as one of his attackers, Iago secretly stabs Roderigo to stop him revealing the plot.

Iago then accuses Bianca of the failed conspiracy to kill Cassio. Othello confronts Desdemona, and then smothers her with a pillow. When Emilia arrives, Desdemona defends her husband before dying, and Othello accuses Desdemona of adultery. Emilia calls for help. The former governor Montano arrives with Gratiano and Iago. When Othello mentions the handkerchief as proof, Emilia realizes what her husband, Iago, has done, and she exposes him, whereupon Iago kills her. Othello, belatedly realising Desdemona's innocence, stabs Iago but not fatally, saying that Iago is a devil, and he would rather have him live the rest of his life in pain.

Iago refuses to explain his motives, vowing to remain silent from that moment on. Lodovico apprehends both Iago and Othello for the murders of Roderigo, Emilia, and Desdemona, but Othello commits suicide. Lodovico appoints Cassio as Othello's successor and exhorts him to punish Iago justly. He then denounces Iago for his actions and leaves to tell the others what has happened. Cinthio's tale may have been based on an actual incident occurring in Venice about Cinthio drew a moral which he placed in the mouth of Desdemona that it is unwise for European women to marry the temperamental men of other nations. While Shakespeare closely followed Cinthio's tale in composing Othello , he departed from it in some details.

Brabantio, Roderigo, and several minor characters are not found in Cinthio, for example, and Shakespeare's Emilia takes part in the handkerchief mischief while her counterpart in Cinthio does not. Unlike in Othello , in Cinthio, the "Ensign" the play's Iago lusts after Desdemona and is spurred to revenge when she rejects him. Shakespeare's opening scenes are unique to his tragedy, as is the tender scene between Emilia and Desdemona as the lady prepares for bed. Shakespeare's most striking departure from Cinthio is the manner of his heroine's death.

In Shakespeare, Othello suffocates Desdemona, but in Cinthio, the "Moor" commissions the "Ensign" to bludgeon his wife to death with a sand-filled stocking. Cinthio describes each gruesome blow, and, when the lady is dead, the "Ensign" and the "Moor" place her lifeless body upon her bed, smash her skull, and cause the cracked ceiling above the bed to collapse upon her, giving the impression its falling rafters caused her death. In Cinthio, the two murderers escape detection. The "Moor" then misses Desdemona greatly, and comes to loathe the sight of the "Ensign".

He demotes him, and refuses to have him in his company. The "Ensign" then seeks revenge by disclosing to the "Squadron Leader" the "Moor's" involvement in Desdemona's death. The two depart Cyprus for Venice, and denounce the "Moor" to the Venetian Seigniory; he is arrested, taken to Venice, and tortured. He refuses to admit his guilt and is condemned to exile. Desdemona's relatives eventually find and kill him. The "Ensign", however, continues to escape detection in Desdemona's death, but engages in other crimes while in Venice.

He is arrested and dies after being tortured. Cinthio's "Ensign's Wife" the play's Emilia , survives her husband's death to tell her story. Cinthio's "Moor" is the model for Shakespeare's Othello, but some researchers believe the poet also took inspiration from the several Moorish delegations from Morocco to Elizabethan England circa Another possible source was the Description of Africa by Leo Africanus. The book was an enormous success in Europe, and was translated into many other languages, [8] remaining a definitive reference work for decades and to some degree, centuries afterwards.

While supplying the source of the plot, the book offered nothing of the sense of place of Venice or Cyprus. The earliest mention of the play is found in a Revels Office account, which records that on "Hallamas Day, being the first of Nouembar Stamp in The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 6 October , by Thomas Walkley , and was first published in quarto format by him in One year later, the play was included among the plays in the First Folio of Shakespeare's collected plays. However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording: as the editors of the Folger edition explain: "The Folio play has about lines that do not appear in the Quarto.

Some of these cluster together in quite extensive passages. The Folio also lacks a scattering of about a dozen lines or part-lines that are to be found in the Quarto. These two versions also differ from each other in their readings of numerous words. Although characters described as "Moors" appear in two other Shakespeare plays Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice , such characters were a rarity in contemporary theatre, and it was unknown for them to take centre stage.

There is no consensus over Othello 's ethnic origin. In Elizabethan discourse, the word "black" could suggest various concepts that extended beyond the physical colour of skin, including a wide range of negative connotations. Honigmann , the editor of an Arden Shakespeare edition, concluded that Othello's race is ambiguous. As critics have established, the term 'Moor' referred to dark-skinned people in general, used interchangeably with terms such as 'African', 'Somali', 'Ethiopian', 'Negro', 'Arab', 'Berber', and even 'Indian' to designate a figure from Africa or beyond. Othello is referred to as a "Barbary horse" 1.

Desdemona's physical whiteness is otherwise presented in opposition to Othello's dark skin: 5. When Iago uses the word Barbary or Barbarian to refer to Othello, he seemingly refers to the Barbary coast inhabited by Berbers. Roderigo calls Othello "the thicklips", which seems to refer to Sub-Saharan African physiognomy, but Honigmann counters that, as these comments are all intended as insults by the characters, they need not be taken literally. However, Jyotsna Singh wrote that the opposition of Brabantio to Desdemona marrying Othello — a respected and honoured general — cannot make sense except in racial terms, citing the scene where Brabantio accuses Othello of using witchcraft to make his daughter fall in love with him, saying it is "unnatural" for Desdemona to desire Othello's "sooty bosom".

Michael Neill, editor of an Oxford edition , notes that the earliest critical references to Othello's colour Thomas Rymer 's critique of the play, and the engraving in Nicholas Rowe 's edition of Shakespeare assume him to be Sub-Saharan, while the earliest known North African interpretation was not until Edmund Kean 's production of He stayed with his retinue in London for several months and occasioned much discussion. While Shakespeare's play was written only a few years afterwards, Honigmann questions the view that ben Messaoud himself was a significant influence on it.

Othello was frequently performed as an Arab Moor during the 19th century. He was first played by a black man on the London stage in by the most important of the nineteenth-century Othellos, the African American Ira Aldridge who had been forced to leave his home country to make his career. The first major screen production casting a black actor as Othello did not come until , with Laurence Fishburne opposite Kenneth Branagh 's Iago. The casting of the role comes with a political subtext.

Patrick Stewart played the role alongside an otherwise all-black cast in the Shakespeare Theatre Company 's staging of the play [33] [34] and Thomas Thieme, also white, played Othello in a Munich Kammerspiele staging at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre , Stratford. Michael Gambon also took the role in and ; their performances were critically acclaimed. But questions of race may not boil down to a simple decision of casting a single role. Bal, a Hawaiian actor of mixed ethnicity, playing Iago. A vital component of the Protestant Reformation was the establishment among the general public of the importance of "pious, controlled behaviour".

As such, "undesirable" qualities such as cruelty, treachery, jealousy and libidinousness were seen as qualities possessed by " the other ". Though the actual racial definition of the term is murky, the implications are religious as well as racial. Vozar, in a article in Philosophy and Literature , suggests that the epileptic fit relates to the mind—body problem and the existence of the soul.

There have been many differing views on the character of Othello over the years. Bradley calls Othello the "most romantic of all of Shakespeare's heroes" by "hero" Bradley means protagonist and "the greatest poet of them all". On the other hand, F. Leavis describes Othello as "egotistical". There are those who also take a less critical approach to the character of Othello such as William Hazlitt , who said: "the nature of the Moor is noble Conversely, many scholars have seen Iago as the anti-hero of the piece. Auden , for example, observed that "any consideration of [the play] must be primarily occupied, not with its official hero, but with its villain". Othello possesses an unusually detailed performance record. The play is there attributed to "Shaxberd". Othello was also one of the twenty plays performed by the King's Men during the winter of , in celebration of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V, Elector Palatine.

Soon after, on 8 December , Thomas Killigrew 's new King's Company acted the play at their Vere Street theatre, with Margaret Hughes as Desdemona — probably the first time a professional actress appeared on a public stage in England. It may be one index of the play's power that Othello was one of the very few Shakespeare plays that was never adapted and changed during the Restoration and the eighteenth century. This production was the first ever in America to feature a black actor playing Othello with an otherwise all-white cast there had been all-black productions of the play before. It ran for performances, almost twice as long as any other Shakespeare play ever produced on Broadway.

Although it was never filmed, it was the first lengthy performance of a Shakespeare play released on records, first on a multi-record 78 RPM set and then on a 3-LP one. The critics had mixed reactions to the "flashy" production which included mid-western accents and rock-and roll drumbeats but gave Robeson primarily good reviews. Darlington of The Daily Telegraph ranked Robeson's Othello as the best he had ever seen [52] while the Daily Express , which had for years before published consistently scathing articles about Robeson for his leftist views, praised his "strong and stately" performance though in turn suggested it was a "triumph of presence not acting". Actors have alternated the roles of Iago and Othello in productions to stir audience interest since the nineteenth century.

The stunt renewed interest in Booth's tour. The American actor William Marshall performed the title role in at least six productions. From his first entry, slender and magnificently tall, framed in a high Byzantine arch, clad in white samite, mystic, wonderful, a figure of Arabian romance and grace, to his last plunging of the knife into his stomach, Mr Marshall rode without faltering the play's enormous rhetoric, and at the end the house rose to him.

The Broadway staging starred James Earl Jones as Othello and Christopher Plummer as Iago, who became the only actor to receive a Tony Award nomination for a performance in the play. When Laurence Olivier gave his acclaimed performance of Othello at the Royal National Theatre in , he had developed a case of stage fright that was so profound that when he was alone onstage, Frank Finlay who was playing Iago would have to stand offstage where Olivier could see him to settle his nerves.

The film version still holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for acting ever given to a Shakespeare film — Olivier, Finlay, Maggie Smith as Desdemona and Joyce Redman as Emilia, Iago's wife were all nominated for Academy Awards. Olivier was among the last white actors to be greatly acclaimed as Othello, although the role continued to be played by such performers as Donald Sinden at the Royal Shakespeare Company in —, Paul Scofield at the Royal National Theatre in , Anthony Hopkins in the BBC Television Shakespeare production , and Michael Gambon in a stage production at Scarborough directed by Alan Ayckbourn in Gambon had been in Olivier's earlier production.

In an interview Gambon commented "I wasn't even the second gentleman in that. I didn't have any lines at all. I was at the back like that, standing for an hour. No one knew. All the line used to listen to The Archers. Olivier sent me a telegram on the first night. He said, "Copy me. He used to paint the big negro lips on. You couldn't do it today, you'd get shot. He had the complete negro face. And the hips. I did all that. I copied him exactly. Except I had a pony tail. I played him as an Arab. I stuck a pony tail on with a bell on the end of it. I thought that would be nice. Every time I moved my hair went wild. Stewart had wanted to play the title role since the age of 14, so he and director Jude Kelly inverted the play so Othello became a comment on a white man entering a black society.

Companies have also chosen to share the role between several actors during a performance. Canadian playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald 's award-winning play Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet is a revision of Othello and Romeo and Juliet in which an academic deciphers a cryptic manuscript she believes to be the original source for the tragedies, and is transported into the plays themselves.

In , famed Bollywood producer, Vishal Bharadwaj produced the blockbuster Hindi movie Omkara , an adaption of Othello. In March the historian Onyeka produced a play entitled Young Othello , a fictional take on Othello's young life before the events of Shakespeare's play. Othello as a literary character has appeared in many representations within popular culture over several centuries. There also have been over a dozen film adaptations of Othello. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Shakespeare tragedy. Shakespeare wrote more than thirty plays. These are usually divided into four categories: histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances.

His earliest plays were primarily comedies and histories such as Henry VI and The Comedy of Errors , but in , Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet , his second tragedy, and over the next dozen years he would return to the form, writing the plays for which he is now best known: Julius Caesar , Hamlet , Othello , King Lear , Macbeth , and Antony and Cleopatra. Only eighteen of Shakespeare's plays were published separately in quarto editions during his lifetime; a complete collection of his works did not appear until the publication of the First Folio in , several years after his death.

Nonetheless, his contemporaries recognized Shakespeare's achievements. Francis Meres cited "honey-tongued" Shakespeare for his plays and poems in , and the Chamberlain's Men rose to become the leading dramatic company in London, installed as members of the royal household in Sometime after , Shakespeare retired from the stage and returned to his home in Stratford. He drew up his will in January of , which included his famous bequest to his wife of his "second best bed. National Poetry Month. Materials for Teachers Teach This Poem. Poems for Kids. Poetry for Teens. Lesson Plans. Resources for Teachers. Academy of American Poets.

American Poets Magazine. Poets Search more than 3, biographies of contemporary and classic poets. William Shakespeare — Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us. Find Poets. Poetry Near You. Jobs for Poets. Read Stanza. Privacy Policy.

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